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Ophrys araneola has been described in 1831 by REICHENBACH from Wallis in Switzerland. Its distribution in the Mediterranean is only insufficiently known because it has often been confused with similar species. In the north Ophrys araneola reaches Germany and Belgium. Ophrys araneola is one of the first orchids, which are in flower in spring. Pollinators are bees of the Andrena cf. lathyri group.

The right of the two images which have been taken in the Gâtinais region south of Paris shows a clan which is about two weeks earlier in flower than the usual araneola there. An article in L'Orchidophile 31 (No.140) has been reported about this clan, which is known from few sites in the Gâtinais and the neighbouring departement Essonne. At the site which I know in the Gâtinais, there is also Ophrys sphegodes available beneath this clan and usual araneola, sphegodes is still somewhat later in flower than the two others.

Ophrys araneola
left:   F Dept. Drome Beauregard-Baret 5.5.2004
right: F Dept. Drome 30.4.2004

Ophrys araneola
left:   F Montagne du Luberon 29.3.2002
right: F Massif de l'Estaque 11.3.2001

Ophrys araneola
left:   F Blausasc 27.4.2002
right: F Montagne de la Clape 13.4.2001


Ophrys araneola
left:   F Bouches du Rhone, Orgon 13.4.2004
right: F Alsace 7.5.2003

Ophrys araneola
left:   F Gātinais 13.4.2002
right: F Gātinais 31.3.2003

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